Despite including a couple of horror stories, Saturday’s two-year-old event, won impressively by Excellent Proposal, promises to be a very strong pointer going forward.
The Punter’s Intelligence sectional data suggests if Excellent Proposal went into the race underestimated he came out of it a horse to remember.
Of the three 1400m races, the two-year-olds went out the slowest in the first 600m running 36.71 which was some three lengths slower than the Benchmark 88 and a full second slower than the Highway.
Excellent Proposal sat three deep in the second half and ran his last 600m in 34.52, about two lengths quicker than any other in the race, and he covered an extra 7m in the run for his trouble.
He was one of only two horses to break 12 seconds for the last 200m (11.83) and that was over a length faster than War Baron (11.99).
The defeat of Mandela as favourite again begs the question should he be forgiven, especially considering he didn’t have much of a crack at them from his inside alley.
He did run 34.85 for his last 600m while searching for runs and that was second best of the race so he’s not going badly. Depending on the race, he’s worth another chance.
War Baron might have been a hidden run in that he doesn’t have the profile of Mandela but his effort was just as good. As mentioned he ran 11.99 for his last 200m and his last 600m of 35.01 was third best.
Like Mandela, War Baron was held up for a lot of the straight but he managed to get to the outside late. He’s crying out for a mile.
Costello, stablemate of War Baron, signalled he’s just about ready to win with an eye-catching second in the 1800m event at his second run from a spell.
He clocked the fastest last 600m of the race of 34.55 and it was the section between the 600m and 200m where he really picked up running 11.26 and 11.29. While he flattened out a bit late his last 200m of 12 seconds was still the fastest of the race.
The winner Dr Drill ran 35.48 for his last 600m but the damage was done as far as his rivals were concerned between the 1000m and 400m as he poured on the pressure with steadily increasing sectionals.
It’s no surprise that the 1000m scamper would produce the best splits of the day and that honour went to Taniko who clearly appreciated getting back into the soft range after floundering on heavy tracks.
She scorched hone in 33.12 for her last 600m and her last 200m of 11.55 was easily the fastest of the day as well.
Dagny is something of a poster girl for a few studiers of sectional times and it might be the case that the 2000m event on Saturday was the one that got away for the mare.
She lost the race in the first 200m it would seem as she ran 16.25 which was over two lengths slower than the winner Wu Gok. She was beaten half a length by that horse.
She ran the fastest 200m split for six of the ten 200m sectionals and the fastest last 600m of 35.12.
Fastest last 600m: Taniko 33.12
Most ground covered (to win): Pelethronius +14.4m
Don’t miss Punter’s Intelligence with Gerard Middleton, Brad Davidson and Brad Gray at 7pm on Tuesdays on Sky Thoroughbred Central.